"David Owens is a tremendous leader and visionary who has made substantial contributions to our industry throughout his distinguished career," said EEI Chairman Tom Fanning, chairman, president and CEO of Southern Company. "On behalf of the industry, I thank David for his dedication and service, and wish him well in his retirement."
Owens began his career at EEI as director of rates and regulation, and he is recognized as one of the foremost authorities on electric company issues and industry restructuring. In his capacity as the first African American to hold an officer title at EEI, Owens has had significant responsibility over issues that affect the future structure of the electric industry and new rules in evolving competitive markets. He has been responsible for the strategic areas of energy supply and finance, environment, energy delivery, retail energy services, state regulatory issues, and international affairs. Additionally, he has spearhead efforts to enhance the public policy climate for investments in America's electric infrastructure with emphasis on the role of new technologies to address climate change and to enhance energy efficiency through smart buildings, smart appliances, smart meters, and smart grids.
Throughout his career, Owens has led efforts to achieve favorable public policy results on a range of issues in Washington and in the states. He has frequently appeared before U.S. congressional committees and has testified in more than 50 proceedings on energy issues before state bodies. He also has lectured at universities across the nation, made hundreds of presentations in business forums, and frequently appears on television and radio. Owens also played a critical role in the industry's response to Superstorm Sandy. Unfailingly generous with his time and knowledge, Owens also has mentored innumerable young men and women in their careers in the energy industry, and he strongly believes in giving back to the community.
Owens served as chief engineer of the Division of Corporate Regulation of the Securities and Exchange Commission and also was an engineer in the Division of Rates and Corporate Regulation at the former Federal Power Commission. He worked as a design and test engineer for General Electric and Philadelphia Electric Companies.
"It has been my tremendous honor to work with Tom Kuhn, EEI's leadership team and staff, and our member company CEOs and employees throughout my career," said Owens. "After 36 years of service to EEI, I have made the decision to retire at the end of June. I look forward to spending more time with my children and grandchildren and to pursuing other hobbies and passions in this next phase of my life. I am confident that my colleagues at EEI will continue their great work on behalf of EEI's member companies and the customers they serve."
Among the many honors he received throughout his career, such as Who's Who In the Government and Outstanding Leader in the Utility Industry, Owens was the recipient of the James E. Stewart Award, the highest distinction for an American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE) member, and he was awarded the President's Cup by AABE for his leadership on public policy matters. Additionally, he was awarded the Women's Council on Energy and the Environment 2013 Champion. He currently sits on the Board of the National Academy of Sciences, served as Chair of the IDEA Public Charter School Board of Trustees, Chair of AABE Legislative Issues and Public Policies, Chairman of the National Institute of Standards and Technology Smart Grid Advisory Committee, and is an active member of a number of professional and community-based organizations.
Owens received both his Bachelors and Masters of Engineering degrees from Howard University. He also has a Masters in Engineering Administration from George Washington University, and attended executive courses at Howard University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Michigan State University.
EEI is the association that represents all U.S. investor-owned electric companies. Our members provide electricity for 220 million Americans, operate in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and directly and indirectly employ more than one million workers. EEI has dozens of international electric companies as International Members, and hundreds of industry suppliers and related organizations as Associate Members.
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SOURCE Edison Electric Institute